Click on the following link for previous layout and posts: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/
DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, November 12, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
If no human being can control the tongue, why bother trying? Even though we may not achieve perfect control of our tongues, the Holy Spirit will help us learn self-control. Remember that we are not fighting the tongue’s fire in our own strength. The Holy Spirit will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say, so that when we are offended, the Spirit will remind us of God’s love, and we won’t react in a hateful manner. When we are criticized, the Spirit will heal the hurt and help us to not lash out.
Our contradictory speech often puzzles us. At times our words are right and pleasing to God, but at other times they are violent and destructive. Which of these speech patterns reflects our true identity? We were made in God’s image, but the tongue gives us a picture of our basic sinful nature. God works to change us from the inside out. When the Holy Spirit purifies a heart, he gives self-control so that the person will speak words that please God.
Have you ever known anyone who claimed to be wise but who acted foolishly? True wisdom can be measured by a person’s character. Just as you can identify a tree by the type of fruit it produces, you can evaluate your wisdom by the way you act. Foolishness leads to disorder, but wisdom leads to peace and goodness. Are you tempted to escalate the conflict, pass on the gossip, or fan the fire of discord? Careful, winsome speech and wise, loving words are the seeds of peace. God loves peacemakers.
Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are inspired by the Devil. It is easy for us to be drawn into wrong desires by the pressures of society and sometimes even by well-meaning Christians. By listening to the advice: “Assert yourself,” “Go for it,” “Set high goals,” we can be drawn into greed and destructive competitiveness. Seeking God’s wisdom delivers us from the need to compare ourselves to others and to want what they have. (NLT)
James 3:7-18 – People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil.
But the wisdom that comes form heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
Pamela Gilsenan (Colorado) titled her story “KNOTS;” here is a portion of Pamela’s story:
“. . . If I tug hard on the tangle, it creates a knot that is almost impossible to remove. But if I am gentle, taking care to notice what’s causing the problem, the potential knots almost untangle themselves.
“Sometimes my relationships also seem to tangle without cause, all but closing off communication with the people I care about. . . .
“So when I have been offended by someone I care about, I try to slow down and look at that ‘tangle’ as a potential ‘knot’ in our relationship. That keeps me from answering with harsh words or an angry tone of voice.
“How we respond in hurtful situations makes a difference our connection with other people and with God. . . .”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – With God’s help I can speak blessings to others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us model your lovingkindness in our responses to others. Put a guard on our mouths so we don’t hurt others or ourselves. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/